Faculty member testifies before Canadian House of Commons

Retired U.S. Army Col. Wes Martin, an adjunct faculty member in the criminal justice program, testified via live remote this week before the Canadian House of Commons’ Subcommittee on International Human Rights.

            Martin testified on the Sept. 1, 2013, massacre of 52 Iranian resistance fighters at a former military base in Iraq. As a former commander of the base, Camp Ashraf, and as the former senior officer responsible for preventing acts of terrorism in Iraq, Martin told the subcommittee that he believed the attack had to have been perpetrated by the American-trained Iraqi government.

            Martin argued that because of the camp’s remote location, Iraqi watchtowers would see any incoming forces. The formations used by the attackers were those taught to the Iraqi government of Nuri al-Maliki, prime minister of Iraq since the end of the Iraqi Transitional Government, he said. He noted that the attackers came and went in the direction of a nearby Iraqi compound.

            He also testified on conditions for 2,900 former residents of Camp Ashraf whom the United Nations moved to another former military base, Camp Liberty, in 2012. This group, an ally of deposed leader Saddam Hussein and an enemy of the current states of both Iraq and Iran, he said is subject to rocket attacks and never-ending harassment from Iran’s newest ally, the Iraqi government.

            “Scores have already died from the rocket attacks,” he told the subcommittee. “Others have died while being denied access to timely medical support.”

            Martin began teaching at Pitt-Bradford in Fall 2013, when he taught Terrorism in a Post-911 World. A former member of the U.S. Army Military Police, he is currently teaching Introduction to Criminal Justice and Crisis Management. In Fall 2014, he will teach Global Security.

            Several faculty members and political science students were able to watch Martin’s live testimony.